As a prospective nurse practitioner business owner there are many decisions to be made, including the amount of time you intend to dedicate to working within your independent practice.
In today’s side-gig economy it is not unusual to see part-time, telehealth-only practices led by entrepreneurial NPs. However, if you want to truly maximize your impact on the community and drive the growth of your nurse practitioner business, opting for a full-time practice will likely accelerate your success.
The Journey to Independence
The journey to independence is rarely immediate. For many NP entrepreneurs, it takes time to transition from their current employed position to become a full-time nurse practitioner business owner. This time window can be used to build your patient panel, complete any current contractual employment obligations, and can serve as a “soft-opening” for your practice, allowing you to work out any kinks before you transition to full time.
Making the change from employee to employer can be both exciting and daunting. Suddenly, more decisions are yours to make, and more patients are relying on you specifically for their care. Nurse practitioner business owners can face anxiety around whether they are making the right business and care decisions. However, the upside of these decisions being up to your discretion is comfort in knowing that you are doing what you feel is best for your practice and your patients. Additionally, with a team of NP consultants or other trusted advisors supporting you, while the decisions are yours to make independently you don’t have to make them alone.
5 Steps in Transitioning to a Full-Time NP Business Owner
The transition from employment to entrepreneurship can feel overwhelming but taking the proper steps to prepare yourself can alleviate many of the unknowns that lie ahead. While you may be eager to open your own practice, the process takes time. Be patient, thoughtful, and diligent so that you can approach this endeavor with confidence.
- Review your current employment. If you are currently employed within a healthcare system, private practice, or some other entity, you will want to review any contractual obligations you may have. Weigh any potential early departure consequences against the potential benefits of starting your practice sooner rather than later to decide what makes the most sense for you.
- Develop an NP business plan. You may have had ideas for independent practice swirling around your head for years. Putting your plan on paper helps to solidify the direction you want to take for your nurse-owned practice. Additionally, if you pursue support from partners, investors, or colleagues, they will likely want to review your NP business plan as well.
- Utilize your skills and outsource your weaknesses. Identify the areas you are confident in and begin completing them, crossing those action items off your to-do list. For those items that you aren’t as confident in, or that are particularly time-consuming, find an experienced partner whom you can trust to lighten the load and maintain your vision for your NP business.
- Establish a timeline. Create a timeline for yourself and any other stakeholders to help keep your nurse practitioner business on track. Some items you may want to include are setting up a Tax ID number and Group NPI, establishing payer contracts, creating an online presence, choosing your official launch date, and determining when you will leave your employed position and transition to full time.
- Establish your support system. There are many stakeholders in your nurse practitioner business. Talk with your friends and family, leaning on them for support as you take this leap. Speak with long-time patients to see if they have recommendations on what they would like to see in a new practice. If you have investors, partners, or business consultants check in with them regularly. They all want to see you succeed. Lean into their support and take comfort in their confidence in your abilities.
What Are the Benefits of a Full-Time Independent Practice?
While there can be comfort in the security of employed positions, being an NP business owner practicing full time has many advantages. With practice ownership comes authority, the wherewithal to practice with authenticity, bringing your true and best self to work every day, and giving patients the high-quality, attentive care they are looking for.
Freedom and Flexibility
By having your own full-time NP business, you grant yourself additional freedom and flexibility, and the ability to choose when and where you work. This can be leveraged in several ways including:
- Setting your own flexible schedule
- Getting credentialing for multiple states
- Developing individualized patient-centered care plans
- Establishing your own unique processes
- Utilizing an EHR (Electronic Health Record) customized to your specific needs
- The ability to see more variety in your day-to-day work life
When you are the decision maker, you are empowered to constantly pursue ways to improve the way your practice is running and act swiftly without the bureaucratic red tape found in many systems.
Finding Joy in Work
As you dedicate your time to operating your NP business, you can find joy in the work you’re doing— joy that many have lost in their years of employment. With full-time practice, you can leave the pressures and frustrations of employment behind.
When you have full ownership of the success of the practice and patient care delivery, the work can be more fulfilling and rewarding. As you broaden access to care in your community, you increase the positive impact you have on the lives of the patients and people all around you – and thus, the positive impact you have on your own life.
Enhanced Patient Experience and Outcomes
Patients are often shuffled in and out of care settings in a way that prioritizes the quantity of patients seen over the quality of care delivered. By committing yourself to full time to your nurse practitioner business and your patients, you can improve the experience on both sides — for the patients and for yourself. With a commitment to full-time practice, you can spend more time with each of your patients than you would with a limited, part-time schedule. This enables you to build stronger relationships with patients, develop a deeper understanding of their care needs, and potentially increase care plan adherence as a trusted healthcare guide.
NP Advantage Can Help
Put your nurse practitioner business plan into action with the support of the NP Advantage team. Our solutions suite alleviates the burden of tasks like credentialing, payer contracting, EHR selection and set-up, website creation, nurse practitioner billing, and more — empowering you to dedicate more of your time to quality care delivery.